December 7, 2022

Visualizing a Virus: Alum’s Art Captures Emotions of a Pandemic

Hadrian Mendoza isn’t glorifying the novel coronavirus at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. But in images of the tiny particle, he sees more than fear, suffering, loss and grief. To Mendoza, a 1996 Mary Washington graduate and internationally known fine-arts potter, viruses have long represented a fascinating intersection of danger and beauty. Starting in […]

McMillan Solo Exhibition at VMFA

Jon McMillan with his work, “Stratos” at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Jon McMillan, Associate Professor of Studio Art and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History, has a solo show of ceramic sculpture titled Cloudseeds at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. The exhibition is part of McMillan’s VMFA Fellowship award, and is on view in the museum’s Pauley Center Galleries from now until August 16, 2020.

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Images and videos from the show can be viewed online at:


Statement for Cloudseeds

Cloudseeds is a new body of work that explores the relationship between the natural and built environments through the integration of forms and surfaces abstracted from multiple sources. Bits of visual and contextual information from plant life, the human body, geographic phenomena and mechanical artifacts are brought together to create works that are suggestive yet ambiguous.

For each piece, earthenware clay is formed through wheel throwing and hand building processes, and finished with multiple glaze firings to build engaging surfaces. The objects begin with only a vague idea in mind, developing as they are constructed through an intuitive process that requires a continual back and forth between thought and action.

While humans and the natural world are inherently connected, rapidly developing cultural shifts, technologies and industrial growth continue to divide our species from the rest of the planet. These pieces seek to explore the grey area that characterizes this relationship through the combination of disparate parts. The resulting objects are rich with connotations, bringing viewers own experiences and ideas to bear in the ensuing dialogue. If the work is successful, it creates more questions than answers.


Jesionowski Among Virginia Women Artists in JMU Gallery Exhibition

Associate Professor of Art Rosemary Jesionowski

Associate Professor of Art Rosemary Jesionowski will have her work on display in two galleries in the School of Art, Design and Art History at James Madison University. Titled Murmuration, the show, which opens Jan. 29, will have three variations, each adding to the previous, reshaping and building in complexity as the series evolves, creating a harmony of imagery and narrative from nine Virginia women artists. Jesionowski, who works in multiple imaging – photography, printmaking and digital media – will have work in the show starting on March 18.

“Last summer, while I was watching the senate hearings, I started to think about ways that women are not heard or, by choice, stay silent and wait,” said Rebecca Silberman, one of the featured artists and a professor of art at JMU who is curating Murmuration. “I wanted to put together a project that would build into a kind of chorus of collective ideas and voices to counteract the moment of hopelessness. Days later, I fortuitously discovered the book ‘When Women Were Birds’ by Terry Tempest Williams. The opening passages are blank, an invitation to imagine/reimagine the words left unspoken or the stories that can be told moving forward.” Read more.

UMW Galleries Highlight Alumni and Faculty Artists Past and Present


A retrospective of artwork from Mary Washington alumni and faculty past and present will be featured in one of two exhibitions hosted by the UMW Galleries, beginning on Thursday, Feb. 6. The other will honor the legacy of a former professor who was instrumental in cultivating the University’s art collection.

The exhibits, Origins: UMW Ceramics Faculty and Alumni in the duPont Gallery, and Julien Binford: A Legacy of Inspiration & Enterprise in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery, will open with receptions from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Origins, which will be on display through March 29, showcases the diverse artwork of faculty and alumni from the University of Mary Washington’s ceramics program over the past 50 years. It is also a concurrent exhibition for this year’s National Conference on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), to be held in Richmond Virginia in late March.

Julien Binford

By bringing together a variety of expressions, techniques and processes, the exhibition highlights the success of our former students and the strength of our department while illustrating the range and depth of contemporary ceramic art.  From sculptural objects and installations to functional pottery, Origins celebrates our community, and reiterates Mary Washington’s identity as an institution grounded in the liberal arts.

Julien Binford, on display through March 15, honors the legacy of former Mary Washington Professor of Art, Julien Binford. The show presents preparatory drawings that Binford created during the 1940s and early 1950s for important commissions he received from LIFE Magazine and The Greenwich Savings Bank. These works were graciously loaned by Maureen Paige (UMW, Class of 1970), a former student of Julien Binford. Also on display are artworks acquired by Binford during his tenure at Mary Washington.

DeLancey Talks ‘Disability Justice’ on ‘With Good Reason’ Radio

University of Mary Washington Art History Professor Julia DeLancey will be featured on the With Good Reason public radio show. The episode, “Disability Justice,” will air daily beginning today, Jan. 10, and continuing through Jan. 16. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the show examines how disabled people have advocated […]

DeLancey Will Present Free Lecture on ‘Florence and the Medici,’ Nov. 8

Professor of Art History Julia DeLancey

Professor of Art History Julia DeLancey

Julia DeLancey, Professor of Art History, will present a free lecture entitled “Florence and the Medici,” at St. George’s Episcopal Church on Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. There will be a brief reception starting at 6:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Fredericksburg-Este Association, the lecture will explore the powerful Medici family and its patronage of the arts and humanism in Renaissance Florence. Read more.

Marginalized Histories of Korean Women Opens in Ridderhof Martin Gallery Oct. 24

The Department of Art and Art History and UMW Galleries present the opening exhibition of Marginalized Histories of Korean Women Thursday, Oct. 24 from 5-7 p.m. in Ridderhof Martin Gallery. The exhibition is curated by Dr. Suzie Kim, Assistant Professor of Art History, and features the work of Youngjoo Cho, Dohee Kim, Sumita Kim, and Wonju Seo. The Marginalized History of Korean Women symposium will be held the following day, Oct. 25. Please see the UMW Marginalized Histories of Korean Women Exhibition and Symposium Flyer for more information.

Entwined within the recent political history of Korea—Japanese colonial period (1910–45), liberation from it, the division of the Korean peninsula into north and south at the end of World War II, the Korean War (1950–53), the New Village Movement by the former president Park Chung Hee in the 1970s, the Gwangju Uprising (1980), and the democratization of the south in the 1980s—are Korean women whose histories have been often ignored or marginalized for contradicting conventional values of marriage and family, and the messages of political regimes. It is possible to expose the silenced histories of women in a society with deep roots in traditional Confucian ethics if we follow Chandra Talpade Mohanty’s vision of decolonizing feminism and acknowledge the complexities that characterize the lives of women in countries other than the West. The focus of the exhibition will be on accounts of Korean women in daily life, in fluid historical conjunctions, and in latent opposition to collectivism.

This exhibition presents four contemporary Korean artists, Youngjoo Cho, Dohee Kim, Sumita Kim, and Wonju Seo. Their art epitomizes the intersection of personal and collective histories of Korean women, and illustrates contemporaneous conversations against militarism, patriarchy, and nationalism.

DeLancey Presents Research on Visual Culture and Visual Impairments in Early Modern Venice

Professor of Art History Julia DeLancey

Professor of Art History Julia DeLancey

On Saturday, October 19, Julia DeLancey (Professor of Art History) presented a paper entitled “The Visual Culture of the Confraternity of the Blind in Early Modern Venice” at the 50th meeting of the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference. The paper, based on new archival research in the Archivio di Stato (state archives) in Venice, explored the activities of a group (confraternity) formed in the fourteenth century so that Venetians with visual impairments could ask for alms in the lagoon city. The paper also relied on key ideas from disability studies theory, in particular the cultural model of disability laid out by Sharon Snyder and David Mitchell (Georgetown University) who spoke on UMW’s campus in the fall of 2018.

Dreiss Presents Paper at Virginia Humanities Conference

Professor of Art History Joseph Dreiss

Professor of Art History Joseph Dreiss

Professor of Art History Joseph Dreiss presented a paper entitled “The Aesthetics of Flow: Achieving Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Optimal Experience through Contemplative Practice with Visual Art” at the Virginia Humanities Conference at Virginia Wesleyan University on April 12-13, 2019.


Dreiss Quoted in Article on Notre Dame Cathedral

Professor of Art History Joseph Dreiss

Professor of Art History Joseph Dreiss

Professor of Art History Joseph Dreiss was quoted in an article about Notre Dame, after the 850-year-old cathedral was engulfed in a massive fire on April 15 that spared only its main structure and two bell towers. “Viollet-le-Duc was a Gothic revivalist and interestingly, he had an impact on early modern architecture because of the emphasis that he placed on the structural beauty of buildings, which is a really significant aspect of the Gothic style,” Dreiss said. Read more.